Although we had a wonderful trip to Europe, with fewer problems and more great moments than I expected, it’s so great to be back in lovely Oregon USA. Free water and free clean public bathrooms are only part of the charm and appeal. Yesterday I headed down to our local grocery to pick up a few items and the conspicuous low prices compared to Europe were really remarkable. I’ll never complain about US food prices again. In Norway you can spend 80 on a single buffet meal, where here in the USA that will buy a *better* buffet meal for a whole family. Norway was beautiful and I really enjoyed our stay, but the sticker shock of $12 for a hamburger and coke did detract a bit from the charm of that amazing country. Norway is often listed as the best place in the world to live – I think in large part due to superb free health care and free education systems – but one wonders how well those metrics include the benefits one enjoys from the dollar menu at McDonald’s and ubiquitous refrigerated water fountains.
Europe’s a great place to visit, but I’m glad to be living …. right here.
It’s been over a decade since I visited Deutschland, but I had a similar feeling when arriving back in the USA. A small dinner for two was like 40-50 bucks, hotels were very expensive, petrol was outrageous, as were rail passes (when not bought in advance). In cities, the strassebahns were nice, but any long distance travel was very pricey. The USA even with problems remains…freer, for the most part. Nothing like having munich polizei “mit die Hunden” shaking you down for zee papers.
On the other hand, blogland’s getting less free, as with Brave New Worlds, McMax and byronia’s site of phonies. Max seems overjoyed that he can now censor people at will (“moderate”), especially anyone who dares to question RA Heinlein’s right-wing hawkish views–VERBOTEN! After four or five years of not quite mastering the WP layout, he finally figured out the comments app.
(what happened to the Glennster, Duck? Your fans probably miss the Tea Party dude in tinfoil hat)